Studio Giggle’s CEO Jonathan Brigden explains how the event industry is mastering the specialist technology underpinning our immersive future.
This century has been a coming of age for the events industry and, with the advent of ‘metaverses’, our industry is well placed thanks to skill-sets honed from years of experience in immersive production.
Metaverses are computer-created worlds which can also be incorporated into physical events and have been the subject of numerous recent event enquiries.
But how did we get here, and what technologies will put our industry at the forefront of this new world?
Immersive production matured in the early Noughties. The term refers to a live experience that surrounds you, extending and bending your reality in a convincing manner. Projection mapping has been at the heart of this, but more recently VR, XR and AR have been mainstays of the medium.
The theatre, fashion and retail industries benefited hugely from agencies’ immersive expertise, but soon enough, brands became preoccupied with creating all-encompassing illusions for audiences.
The London 2012 Summer Olympics marked an uptick in immersive activations, strengthening the event industry’s international exposure as nations and brands experimented with immersive production at the capital’s various venues.
Immersive production allowed companies to realise themselves in three dimensions thanks to digital enhancements created in collaboration with event creatives. The technology bought event attendees into brands’ experiential worlds in ways that print and televisual mediums couldn’t.
Why just observe a brand’s content when you can interact with it?
Creativity and technical know-how
Metaverses are now the buzzword on corporate lips. The good news is that, while their commercial realisation is in the hands of giant corporations (Apple, Meta and Amazon are pioneering metaverse worlds) and crypto innovators (Sandbox, Decentraland, TCG World are creating more privacy-centric, decentralised environments), many event agencies are becoming software experts.
The agencies of the future are those with the creative talent and the technical ability to bridge physical and virtual worlds. At Studio Giggle, we were able to gain access to the software powering metaverses thanks to a grant gained during our Covid-19 downtime.
The following technologies are the event industry’s gateway to bringing the metaverse to the masses:
Notch’s software lets you create graphics, while offering flexibility and depth for seasoned artists. Studio Giggle has used this on projects for a Premier League team, creating immersive world’s using our in-house team of animators. It’s also in-demand for our work at a major 2024 sporting event.
The Unreal Engine is an open and advanced real-time 3D creation tool for photoreal visuals. Various metaverses will use this as their go-to software for creators, but expect graphics generated in Unreal to find their way into physical events, via VR, AR and XR.
This camera-tracking hardware and software is a key component in putting consumers into a virtual world in a physical space.
4. Stage Precision
Stage Precision is a digital intermediary between different devices in 3D space. It connects tracking and positioning systems with media servers and lighting desks, driving complex kinetic installations with tracking solutions as a service.